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Field Guides Tour Report
Oct 3, 2013 to Oct 21, 2013
Phil Gregory

The jaw-dropping male Ribbon-tailed Astrapia (Photo by participant Tony Brake)

This was my swansong for this tour for the moment, and it was a very nice way to bow out, with a convivial and entertaining group and good weather throughout, except for the bush fires at Sydney at the end which had caused some of the tracks in Royal NP to be closed. Far North Queensland was hot and very dry, PNG was overcast and pleasantly cool, with rain at (mostly at night), and we had good conditions near Brisbane with just one showery, gusty day at Lamington. Flights thankfully worked well, with a couple of hideous early morning departures but nothing else.

Highlights were getting Southern Cassowary at Cassowary House where they have been difficult of late -- my son Rowan heard one just after we left and phoned me, so we returned and got a female walking in just after we got back! We saw another at the Crater later too, an aggressive and unduly tame female that has been hand fed and is now something of a problem, I had to scare it away as it was coming too close and being demanding, Cynthia moved very fast here I noticed! Tawny Frogmouth on nest at Granite Gorge, Australian Pratincole at Brady's Lagoon, Freckled Duck still at Hastie's Swamp, White Pygmy-goose at Cattana Wetlands, Australian Bustard and Sarus Crane near Mareeba, good Platypus at Yungaburra and early White-throated Needletails at the Curtain Fig, plus Satin Flycatcher at Cassowary House and very good Mangrove Robin and Bush Thick-knees in Cairns and a neat array of shorebirds including Black and Bar-tailed Godwits, Great Knot, Gray-tailed Tattler, and Terek Sandpiper to pad the list. I should also mention of course nice looks at Platypus, the delightful Mareeba Rock Wallabies that we hand fed, the Sugar Gliders at Chambers, and a nice range of kangaroo species.

PNG was an excellent sampler, with the birds-of-paradise and kingfishers the major draws -- nice looks at Raggianas, good Lesser BoP below Kumul from the road, excellent male Blue BoP, good views of two male King of Saxony, wonderful male Ribbon-tailed Astrapia and Brown Sicklebills, Growling Riflebird at least heard, and brief Crinkle-collared Manucode. Max got a super male Crested Satinbird down in his garden, actually my first of the year, with a female nearby, and the New Guinea Woodcock was a star -- we heard it the first night at 1825 and got a fly-by glimpse, but I took 4 folks back next night and we saw it as it sat on a mossy branch after the initial roding display, just fantastic.

Other highlights included Yellow-billed and Brown-headed paradise-kingfishers, Papuan Frogmouth, Barred Owlet-Nightjar, Dwarf and Beautiful fruit-doves, Spotted Whistling-Duck, and both Fawn-breasted and Yellow-breasted bowerbirds, with a good bower for the former at the PAU. Archbold's Bowerbird and Crested Berrypecker were excellent at the feeders at Kumul again, we saw a Lesser Melampitta under the feeder twice (new family pending), and we had Blue-capped Ifrita right by the lodge, another new family looming there. Also heard Wattled Ploughbill on the new trail opposite Pigites, which is much easier and well worth doing, so you can get all the endemic families and the potential ones too on this sampler tour if you are lucky.

In Brisbane we did Daisy Hill for Koala -- seeing 2 very well (they can be hard here!) -- and also a Square-tailed Kite flying over, then the mangroves at Lota for Mangrove Honeyeater and Gerygone and Collared Kingfisher. Next day I hired Roger Jaensch to take us to Sandy Camp Wetlands, a new site for me but which had nesting Pacific Baza (Melinda's most wanted bird), Baillon's and Spotless crakes, Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo, and Striped Honeyeater plus sundry other nice things; be worth checking out what is around in 2014.

The usual suspects at O'Reillys came good despite indifferent windy showery weather: we had amazing Albert's Lyrebirds with a female and well-grown juvenile right by the lodge several times, my best views in years. Paradise Riflebird was hard, not calling much and Python Rock Track was closed, I managed a female plumaged bird on Moran's Falls track instead. Noisy Pitta came good, and I got it for the VENT group as well! Oddly, I only heard one Rose Robin this year, there were just none calling, they seem late back. Did not do Duck Creek Road as it was too wet and hazardous sans 4WD.

The finale at Royal NP was good in nice weather -- great Superb Lyrebird including a male with female along Lady Carrington Drive, where Rock Warbler was absent at the usual spot, but we got one just past the convict road paving slabs right by the start of the trail on the way back! Breaching Humpback Whales off Garie Beach were neat, turning over to land on their backs with huge splashes, with 4 or 5 animals involved, a nice finale to a very successful tour.

My thanks to this very convivial and relaxed group for help with bags and the trailer, my back and shoulder injuries (the latter a souvenir of a fall in Ghana) left me a bit handicapped here. I hope the photos all came out well? Freda enjoyed testing out the Morcombe app with the bird calls, and it was useful for me to see how that worked as well, if only we had one for PNG! It was a very enjoyable tour, great travelling with you all, and thanks to Karen for good logistics, it all worked out fine. All the best to Jay and his group in 2014!


One of the following keys may be shown in brackets for individual species as appropriate: * = heard only, I = introduced, E = endemic, N = nesting, a = austral migrant, b = boreal migrant

Casuariidae (Cassowaries)

Southern Cassowary -- a bird by definition but not by first impression! (Photo by participant Tony Brake)

SOUTHERN CASSOWARY (Casuarius casuarius) – A hot dry year, a failed nesting attempt and a newly arrived female meant Cassowary had been hard to see with us at Cassowary House. Luckily my son Rowan heard one calling not long after we had finally left, so we turned back and got the new female almost right away just as she walked in. Great looks at the icon bird, one we had feared we had dipped. Strangely enough we had another close encounter with one at the Crater, where a female came much too close and began walking up to the group- Cynthia moved amazingly quickly here we noted-, so much so I had to eventually make a noise and appear big to scare the bird away. This one has become too used to people and is after food, sadly they are potentially hazardous when they get like this and I was not taking any chances. [E]
Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl)
MAGPIE GOOSE (Anseranas semipalmata) – Nice looks at around 300 of this odd species at Brady's Lagoon and Hastie's Swamp, with one odd one at Sandy Camp wetland later. [E]
SPOTTED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna guttata) – We had the trifecta of whistling ducks at the PAU when we found 3 of this scarce species perched up in the rain trees.
PLUMED WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna eytoni) – Lots at Hastie's Swamp and 150 Lake Tinaroo. A single at the PAU was a left over vagrant from the large flock here earlier this year. [E]
WANDERING WHISTLING-DUCK (Dendrocygna arcuata) – 6 at the PAU showed nicely, and we had one at Sandy Camp wetland for some.
FRECKLED DUCK (Stictonetta naevosa) – 7 still at Hastie's Swamp were a good bonus, they had been around over the winter but I thought they might have moved on by now, so finding them again by the hide was excellent. It's a rather rare and elusive species, the hardest of the resident ducks to catch up with.
BLACK SWAN (Cygnus atratus) – Just 5 on floodwater north of Mareeba.
RADJAH SHELDUCK (Tadorna radjah) – 8 at Centenary Park for most of us, then 2 perched up in trees at the PAU. [E]
GREEN PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus pulchellus) – 12 at Cattana Wetlands, an exquisite little duck. [E]
COTTON PYGMY-GOOSE (Nettapus coromandelianus) – Just a single male at Cattana Wetlands which we heard about from someone I knew there, tucked away on a pond at the back. This species has declined alarmingly and has gone from all its old sites, so getting one here was a real bonus, and a drake too.
MANED DUCK (Chenonetta jubata) – Small numbers at Lake Tinaroo and Brady's Lagoon, then quite widespread around Brisbane and Sydney. [E]
PACIFIC BLACK DUCK (Anas superciliosa) – Seen at most wetlands, the default duck for the trip.
GRAY TEAL (Anas gracilis) – Small numbers at various wetlands on the tablelands, and 4 at the PAU.
PINK-EARED DUCK (Malacorhynchus membranaceus) – Great looks at 9 at Brady's Lagoon then about 50 at Hastie's Swamp, a really bizarre little bird with flaps on the sides of the spatulate beak. [E]
WHITE-EYED DUCK (Aythya australis) – Small numbers around at various wetlands and 6 at the PAU where it is a rare visitor.
Megapodiidae (Megapodes)
AUSTRALIAN BRUSH-TURKEY (Alectura lathami) – Common at Cassowary House, the tablelands and Lamington. with some nice nest mounds seen. [E]
BLACK-BILLED BRUSH-TURKEY (Talegalla fuscirostris) – Heard at Varirata and a huge nest mound seen. [E*]
ORANGE-FOOTED SCRUBFOWL (Megapodius reinwardt) – Seen at Centenary Park and then at Cattana wetlands.
Phasianidae (Pheasants, Grouse, and Allies)

We enjoyed good looks at Plumed Whistling-Ducks and Pink-eared Ducks at Hastie's Swamp. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

BROWN QUAIL (Coturnix ypsilophora) – Flushed at Max's orchid garden and then 2 at Sandy Camp Wetland.
Podicipedidae (Grebes)
AUSTRALASIAN GREBE (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) – Small numbers on various wetlands.
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Podiceps cristatus australis) – About 70 on Lake Barrine, this is a very disjunct and isolated taxon here in Australasia.
Procellariidae (Shearwaters and Petrels)
SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER (Puffinus tenuirostris) – Quite a few offshore from Garie Beach in calm conditions.
Ciconiidae (Storks)
BLACK-NECKED STORK (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus australis) – A fine pair in a drainage ditch at Cairns Airport, which we learned about via a friendly taxi driver!
Fregatidae (Frigatebirds)
GREAT FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata minor) – A male over Ela Beach was a nice find.
LESSER FRIGATEBIRD (Fregata ariel) – Two over Ela Beach, a good site for this species.
Sulidae (Boobies and Gannets)
AUSTRALASIAN GANNET (Morus serrator) – One off Garie Beach for a few of us, they used to be much easier to see here.
Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants and Shags)
LITTLE BLACK CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax sulcirostris) – Widespread and seen in both countries. [E]
GREAT CORMORANT (AUSTRALASIAN) (Phalacrocorax carbo novaehollandiae) – Just a couple at Lake Barrine, another disjunct population and not common.
PIED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax varius) – A couple off Brisbane were a useful trip tick. [E]
LITTLE PIED CORMORANT (Phalacrocorax melanoleucos) – Widespread and seen in both countries, but much less common than Little Black.
Anhingidae (Anhingas)
AUSTRALASIAN DARTER (Anhinga novaehollandiae) – Four day records, all in Australia and singles except for 3 at Cattana Wetlands. [E]
Pelecanidae (Pelicans)
AUSTRALIAN PELICAN (Pelecanus conspicillatus) – Four day records but only very small numbers around Cairns and Brisbane. A spectacular bird and the largest of the family. [E]
Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
PACIFIC HERON (Ardea pacifica) – Three day records, seen north of Mareeba, at Hastie's Swamp and at Wynnum. [E]
GREAT EGRET (AUSTRALASIAN) (Ardea alba modesta) – Five day records of very small numbers in Queensland.
INTERMEDIATE EGRET (Mesophoyx intermedia) – Five day records, with 4 at the PAU the most we saw.
WHITE-FACED HERON (Egretta novaehollandiae) – Four day records, the most being 4 at Lota mangroves.
LITTLE EGRET (LITTLE) (Egretta garzetta nigripes) – Also four day records, with the most being 3 at Lota mangroves.
PIED HERON (Egretta picata) – Nice looks at 10 at the PAU, some in breeding dress with nape plumes and dark cap.
CATTLE EGRET (ASIAN) (Bubulcus ibis coromandus) – Only very small numbers on the Tablelands and at the PAU, this taxon is split by the IOC as it has a much more orange breeding plumage.
STRIATED HERON (Butorides striata) – One at Centenary Park in Cairns where it likes to fish from the weir at low tide. Some also saw one at Cairns Esplanade.
RUFOUS NIGHT-HERON (Nycticorax caledonicus) – The Nankeen Nigh Heron was seen at the PAU and near Brisbane at Lota and Sandy Camp Wetlands. [E]
Threskiornithidae (Ibises and Spoonbills)

Cattana Wetlands held the fancy Green Pygmy-Goose for us. (Photo by participant Merrill Lester)

GLOSSY IBIS (Plegadis falcinellus) – 5 flying over Centenary Park were unusual here, then we had 7 at Brady's Lagoon and a single at Hastie's Swamp.
AUSTRALIAN IBIS (Threskiornis moluccus) – Widespread in small numbers, forages around picnic sites at Royal and at fast food outlets in Sydney!
STRAW-NECKED IBIS (Threskiornis spinicollis) – A few around in the north then 3 at the PAU and more again near Brisbane. [E]
ROYAL SPOONBILL (Platalea regia) – Three day records, the most being 5 at Brady's Lagoon.
YELLOW-BILLED SPOONBILL (Platalea flavipes) – One at Brady's Lagoon and 4 at Bromfield Swamp, they are not common in the north but turn up regularly at this time of year. [E]
Pandionidae (Osprey)
OSPREY (AUSTRALASIAN) (Pandion haliaetus cristatus) – 3 day records with nests near Mareeba. Split by the IOC and the Australian checklist folks as Eastern Osprey.
Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles, and Kites)
AUSTRALIAN KITE (Elanus axillaris) – Just a single was seen on the tablelands, very sparse this season. [E]
PACIFIC BAZA (Aviceda subcristata) – Melinda's most wanted bird, we had a very nice adult incubating on a nest at Sandy Camp, and saw one flying over the wetland later. Yay!
SQUARE-TAILED KITE (Lophoictinia isura) – This was a lucky find of a very scarce bird at Daisy Hill where there used to be a very viewable nest. It is no longer in use but the birds are still in the area. [E]
PYGMY EAGLE (Hieraaetus weiskei) – I managed to not hear about this but most folks saw it quite well just below Kumul Lodge, and Tony got a good photo which clinched the identification. It is very scarce and local, a split from Little Eagle, and I have not seen it at Kumul myself. Next time! [E]
GURNEY'S EAGLE (Aquila gurneyi) – One was soaring as we looked out from the Varirata Lookout, a very scarce and local species. A typical large brown Aquila.
GRAY GOSHAWK (Accipiter novaehollandiae) – Two nice sightings, with one perched by the track at Chambers, then one along the Wishing Tree Trail at Lamington. [E]
BROWN GOSHAWK (Accipiter fasciatus) – Three sightings, seen well at Sandy Camp and Daisy Hill.
BLACK KITE (BLACK) (Milvus migrans affinis) – Widespread and quite common, we had over 70 near Mareeba where there have been hundreds this year, and it is quite common around Mt Hagen and Kumul.
WHISTLING KITE (Haliastur sphenurus) – Seen at the PAU and near Cairns.
BRAHMINY KITE (Haliastur indus) – Seen at Cairns and then at Varirata.
WHITE-BELLIED SEA-EAGLE (Haliaeetus leucogaster) – Two fine adults soaring over Garie Beach on the very last afternoon.
Otididae (Bustards)
AUSTRALIAN BUSTARD (Ardeotis australis) – Phil spotted a male all puffed up in display mode in a field near Emerald Creek, they look remarkably like a pale post from a distance! [E]
Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, and Coots)
RED-NECKED CRAKE (Rallina tricolor) – This was heard at Cassowary House and I think some folks saw one there at some point.
BUFF-BANDED RAIL (Gallirallus philippensis) – One was in the road en route to Kumul Lodge.
BAILLON'S CRAKE (Porzana pusilla) – Great looks at one at Sandy Camp Wetland. foraging about on the lilypads.
SPOTLESS CRAKE (Porzana tabuensis) – Another nice find at Sandy Camp Wetland, and quite obliging, right near the track by the entrance.
WHITE-BROWED CRAKE (Porzana cinerea) – It took a while, but we got a fine adult at Cattana wetlands, good spotting by Al.
PURPLE SWAMPHEN (Porphyrio porphyrio) – Four day records, with up to 40 at Hastie's Swamp.
DUSKY MOORHEN (Gallinula tenebrosa) – Four day records with 15 at Royal NP the most.
EURASIAN COOT (Fulica atra australis) – Up to 30 on the Tablelands and a few at Brisbane, it is not super common here.
Gruidae (Cranes)

Participant Merrill Lester shared this great close-up of a Royal Spoonbill showing off its specialized bill.

SARUS CRANE (Grus antigone gilliae) – Two adults near the bustard field at Emerald Creek then 4 at Bromfield Swamp., most have headed west by now to the Gulf of Carpentaria wetlands to breed.
BROLGA (Grus rubicunda) – 9 birds on the Tablelands with 6 at Bromfield Swamp showing very well. [E]
Burhinidae (Thick-knees)
BUSH THICK-KNEE (Burhinus grallarius) – Great looks in the cemetery at Cairns where we saw 15, then 6 at Lake Tinaroo later. [E]
Charadriidae (Plovers and Lapwings)
MASKED LAPWING (Vanellus miles miles) – Northern birds are this race with no black breast patches, surely at least an incipient species I suspect.
MASKED LAPWING (Vanellus miles novaehollandiae) – Southern bird have big black breast patches and are pretty different to the northern ones.
RED-KNEED DOTTEREL (Erythrogonys cinctus) – This dry season wanderer was seen at Brady's Lagoon (2), then 2 were at Wynnum later. An odd tubby short-tailed species. [E]
PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis fulva) – 3 at the PAU and a single at Lota.
GREATER SAND-PLOVER (Charadrius leschenaultii) – 6 of this large-billed species were at Cairns.
RED-CAPPED PLOVER (Charadrius ruficapillus) – 4 of this neat little plover were on the sand at Cairns Esplanade. [E]
BLACK-FRONTED DOTTEREL (Elseyornis melanops) – Four day records with one's and two's on wetlands around the Tablelands. [E]
Haematopodidae (Oystercatchers)
PIED OYSTERCATCHER (Haematopus longirostris) – Just a single on the mudflats at Lota. [E]
Recurvirostridae (Stilts and Avocets)
PIED STILT (Himantopus leucocephalus) – Four day records, with the most 100 at Wynnum. Variously called White-headed or even Black-winged Stilt, but Pied Stilt suits it well and is the New Zealand name.
Jacanidae (Jacanas)
COMB-CRESTED JACANA (Irediparra gallinacea) – Four day records, with 4 at the PAU as well as those on wetlands around the Tablelands.
Scolopacidae (Sandpipers and Allies)
TEREK SANDPIPER (Xenus cinereus) – 7 at Cairns Esplanade, they always look like they are about to topple forwards, and that upturned bill and short orange legs are very distinctive. Also 2 at Lota later.
COMMON SANDPIPER (Actitis hypoleucos) – One at the PAU and one on a rock at the Sepik Headwaters, the latter unexpected.
GRAY-TAILED TATTLER (Tringa brevipes) – Great views of 30 at Cairns Esplanade.
COMMON GREENSHANK (Tringa nebularia) – One at Lota and 2 at Wynnum.
MARSH SANDPIPER (Tringa stagnatilis) – A single at Brady's Lagoon was a good find, they are uncommon locally.
WHIMBREL (SIBERIAN) (Numenius phaeopus variegatus) – A couple at Cairns Esplanade then 10 at Lota and 20 at Wynnum. Split by many from the dark rumped American Hudsonian Whimbrel.
FAR EASTERN CURLEW (Numenius madagascariensis) – Just a single at Cairns and about 20 at Lota, a rather rare species now and in steep decline.
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (SIBERIAN) (Limosa limosa melanuroides) – One at Cairns and a single by itself at Wynnum, this race is a potential split.
BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Limosa lapponica) – 20 at Cairns, 90 at Lota and 20 at Wynnum.
GREAT KNOT (Calidris tenuirostris) – Another species that is declining rapidly, we saw 30 at Cairns and 25 at Wynnum.
RED KNOT (Calidris canutus) – 20 at Wynnum were a nice trip tick, and good to compare them with Great Knot.
RED-NECKED STINT (Calidris ruficollis) – About 30 at Cairns.
SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER (Calidris acuminata) – 40 at Cairns and one at Brady's Lagoon.
CURLEW SANDPIPER (Calidris ferruginea) – Just a single flyby at Cairns.
LATHAM'S SNIPE (Gallinago hardwickii) – A couple of folks saw one flush at Sandy Camp Wetlands.
DUSKY WOODCOCK (NEW GUINEA) (Scolopax saturata rosenbergii) – One of the birds of the trip, we all heard it roding at dusk on the first evening at Kumul with some folks seeing it in silhouette as it flew by, then next evening 5 of us went back and got it sat on a mossy branch, just wonderful. I will attach the tape I made of its flight calls. Long split from Dusky Woodcock of Java by the way. [E]
Glareolidae (Pratincoles and Coursers)

Thanks to participant Tony Brake for documenting this rare Pygmy Eagle at Kumul.

AUSTRALIAN PRATINCOLE (Stiltia isabella) – 4 at Brady's Lagoon were an unexpected trip addition, they are scarce on the Tablelands.
Laridae (Gulls, Terns, and Skimmers)
SILVER GULL (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae) – Small numbers of this attractive small gull on the coast in Australia.
LITTLE TERN (Sternula albifrons) – 10 at Lota were a nice addition.
GULL-BILLED TERN (Gelochelidon nilotica) – Good views at Cairns and Lota, and oddly 6 birds were offshore at Ela Beach, an unusual location for them
CASPIAN TERN (Hydroprogne caspia) – One at Cairns and one at Cattana Wetlands.
GREAT CRESTED TERN (Thalasseus bergii) – 21 off Garie Beach were one of the last additions to the trip.
Columbidae (Pigeons and Doves)
ROCK PIGEON (Columba livia) – A few feral pigeons were in the urban centres of Australia. [I]
WHITE-HEADED PIGEON (Columba leucomela) – Three flybys for some, then a lovely bird sat feeding by the road at O'Reillys. [E]
SPOTTED DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis) – A few in Cairns and Brisbane. [I]
BROWN CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia phasianella) – A couple seen on the Tablelands. [E]
SLENDER-BILLED CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia amboinensis) – Several seen quite well up at Varirata, they have a quite different call to Brown Cuckoo-Dove. [E]
BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO-DOVE (Macropygia nigrirostris) – Several feeding by the road below Kumul Lodge and then down in the valley, a much smaller more rufous bird than the local congeners. [E]
EMERALD DOVE (PACIFIC) (Chalcophaps indica longirostris) – Pacific Emerald Dove is split by the IOC and we saw it well along Black Mountain Road and on the Tablelands.
STEPHAN'S DOVE (Chalcophaps stephani) – One almost flew into us at the picnic site at Varirata, flushing suddenly out of the forest. [E]
CRESTED PIGEON (Ocyphaps lophotes) – Remarkably few, just seen near Mareeba then near Canungra. [E]
SQUATTER PIGEON (Geophaps scripta) – Great looks at the now very confiding birds at Granite Gorge, which come to feed on the rock wallaby food. [E]
WONGA PIGEON (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) – Great looks at this smart terrestrial pigeon at Lamington, though almost always solitary. [E]
PEACEFUL DOVE (Geopelia placida) – Common in Australia and a few at the PAU. [E]
BAR-SHOULDERED DOVE (Geopelia humeralis) – Seen well at KIngfisher Park and again at the PAU. [E]
WOMPOO FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus magnificus) – Vocal in the Tablelands forests, and seen very nicely along Black Mountain Road.
PINK-SPOTTED FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus perlatus) – Good looks at the Varirata picnic site, this is the one with the toothpaste pink iridescent wing spots. [E]
SUPERB FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus superbus) – Heard at Cassowary House where a male was seen by Al and Cindy.
ROSE-CROWNED FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus regina) – Seen nicely up at Chambers as well as at Cassowary House, a very beautiful species. [E]
BEAUTIFUL FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus pulchellus) – A vocal bird near the picnic site at Varirata gave very nice looks. [E]
WHITE-BREASTED FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus rivoli) – This was heard along the new Pigites trail near Kumul Lodge. [E*]
ORANGE-BELLIED FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus iozonus) – One up at Varirata showed quite nicely. [E]
DWARF FRUIT-DOVE (Ptilinopus nanus) – This small and unobtrusive species was a bonus bird in the fruiting fig at the Varirata picnic site, where quite by chance I found a female sat quietly. She gave terrific views too, the yellow wing edgings and green eye ring are very nice. [E]
ZOE IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula zoeae) – One flyby along the Varirata approach road, a big short-tailed Ducula. [E]
TORRESIAN IMPERIAL-PIGEON (Ducula spilorrhoa) – Recently arrived back in Cairns from wintering in PNG, and very easy to see along the Esplanade, also a few at the PAU.
TOPKNOT PIGEON (Lopholaimus antarcticus) – 7 flying over up near the Crater, the odd head shape is clearly visible in flight. [E]
PAPUAN MOUNTAIN-PIGEON (Gymnophaps albertisii) – Some folks saw this up at Kumul.
Cuculidae (Cuckoos)

Frogmouths are a curious family of nocturnal birds, and Papuan Frogmouth is the largest species. (Photo by participant Tony Brake)

PALLID CUCKOO (Cacomantis pallidus) – A calling bird along Henry Hannam Drive near Mareeba was quite responsive and came in for good looks, they are uncommon locally being generally further inland.
WHITE-CROWNED KOEL (Cacomantis leucolophus) – This was heard at Varirata but stayed out of sight. [E*]
FAN-TAILED CUCKOO (Cacomantis flabelliformis) – One was seen at the Curtain Fig by most, and heard at both Lamington and Royal NP.
HORSFIELD'S BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx basalis) – This was a surprise at Sandy Camp Wetland, and very responsive too. [E]
SHINING BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx lucidus) – Good looks up near the Crater and again at Lamington.
RUFOUS-THROATED BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx ruficollis) – Heard each day at Kumul but totally unresponsive to my tapes. [E*]
LITTLE BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx minutillus) – A fine male at Cairns, and another along Henry Hannam Drive.
LITTLE BRONZE-CUCKOO (Chrysococcyx minutillus russatus) – This form was heard along Black Mountain Road where Gould's Bronze is the only small cuckoo, but sadly they sound exactly like regular Little Bronze and I can't believe they are a distinct species. [E]
AUSTRALIAN KOEL (Eudynamys cyanocephalus) – A male at Centenary Park and another along Henry Hannam Drive.
PHEASANT COUCAL (Centropus phasianinus) – One at Granite Gorge showed well, and there were a couple along the Varirata approach road.
Tytonidae (Barn-Owls)
BARN OWL (AUSTRALIAN) (Tyto alba delicatula) – Our night foray from Chambers got us a nice perched one along Marks Lane, always a good area for them. Split by most these days too as Pacific Barn Owl.
Strigidae (Owls)
SOUTHERN BOOBOOK (Ninox novaeseelandiae) – I eventually got one to respond at O'Reillys and we had a very good look at it. They can take a while to get going so you have to persevere! [E]
Aegothelidae (Owlet-Nightjars)
MOUNTAIN OWLET-NIGHTJAR (Aegotheles albertisi) – This was heard by the cabins at Kumul at some ungodly hour of the morning......always very hard to actually see one. [E*]
BARRED OWLET-NIGHTJAR (Aegotheles bennettii) – The old faithful was again in the usual hole at Varirata, the bird must have been here over 5 years now I reckon and we shall be lost without him! [E]
Podargidae (Frogmouths)
TAWNY FROGMOUTH (Podargus strigoides) – We dipped first time round at Granite Gorge, but my mate Murray told us where the nest was, so we paid a fee a second time and got a great look at it next day. The Al spotted one on a nest with a big youngster squashed beside it at Daisy Hill, the young one having a kind of dark mask and looking very fluffy. [E]
PAPUAN FROGMOUTH (Podargus papuensis) – There were 3 birds roosting at the big rain trees at the PAU, very nice to see this huge bird so well. [E]
Apodidae (Swifts)
WHITE-THROATED NEEDLETAIL (Hirundapus caudacutus) – 5 over the Curtain Fig were unexpected and actually my first of the year, they come back from Siberia and we tend to see them during unsettled weather. [b]
GLOSSY SWIFTLET (Collocalia esculenta) – A few at Varirata and again up at Kumul, glossy blue above with a white belly.
MOUNTAIN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus hirundinaceus) – Quite a few around Kumul Lodge, a dull brownish species of the higher altitudes. [E]
AUSTRALIAN SWIFTLET (Aerodramus terraereginae) – A good size flock of about 40 at Cairns cemetery, then a single later. [E]
UNIFORM SWIFTLET (Aerodramus vanikorensis) – 3 of this brownish lowland species were at Varirata.
Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)

Brehm's Tiger-Parrots regularly come to the feeders at Kumul. (Photo by participant Merrill Lester)

AZURE KINGFISHER (Ceyx azureus) – A glimpse along Black Mt Road, then a nice view of one on the river at Royal NP. [E]
VARIABLE DWARF-KINGFISHER (Ceyx lepidus) – Heard in the forest at Varirata but stayed unseen. [*]
LAUGHING KOOKABURRA (Dacelo novaeguineae) – Five day records of this big and pugnacious noisy species, it's a fearsome predator on small birds too. [E]
BLUE-WINGED KOOKABURRA (Dacelo leachii) – One briefly near Mareeba, then unexpectedly one at the Houses of Parliament at Waigani, with another up at Varirata. [E]
RUFOUS-BELLIED KOOKABURRA (Dacelo gaudichaud) – A nice look at one of this spectacular large kingfisher along the Varirata approach road. [E]
FOREST KINGFISHER (Todiramphus macleayii) – A few around the tablelands, starting at Black Mt Road.
COLLARED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus chloris) – Heard at Cairns, then seen nicely at Lota mangroves.
SACRED KINGFISHER (Todiramphus sanctus) – The first came quite late in the trip at Sandy Camp Wetland, then there were a couple at Royal NP.
YELLOW-BILLED KINGFISHER (Syma torotoro) – This little gem with the domed orange head, yellow bill and black hindneck eye spots was a big hit at Varirata when we eventually got onto him. I am so glad they like Casuarinas and not denser foliaged trees! [E]
BROWN-HEADED PARADISE-KINGFISHER (Tanysiptera danae) – A Varirata special, and once more we got very nice looks at one, endemic to SE PNG too this is the only place I have ever seen it. [E]
Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
RAINBOW BEE-EATER (Merops ornatus) – Some nice looks around Cairns and the Tablelands.
Coraciidae (Rollers)
DOLLARBIRD (Eurystomus orientalis) – Two seen well at Varirata are of the local race, then two vociferous birds were at Royal NP, newly arrived back by the sound of things!
Bucerotidae (Hornbills)
BLYTH'S HORNBILL (Aceros plicatus) – One flew over us as we came down the Lookout Trail at Varirata, the swooshing wingbeats sure make you pay attention and we glimpsed it through the trees, Quite rare here as they have been hunted out.
Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras)
AUSTRALIAN KESTREL (Falco cenchroides) – Just two day records from the Tablelands, they seem scarce this year. [E]
BROWN FALCON (Falco berigora) – Nice looks at two singles up on the Tablelands, the numbers vary from year to year. [E]
Cacatuidae (Cockatoos)
RED-TAILED BLACK-COCKATOO (Calyptorhynchus banksii) – I reckon we saw over 200 around the Mareeba area, calling beautifully and a wonderful sight in flight. [E]
GALAH (Eolophus roseicapilla) – This odd strawberry pink and gret cockatoo was first seen at Mareeba, then a few around Canungra and one at Royal NP. [E]
LONG-BILLED CORELLA (Cacatua tenuirostris) – 3 flying over at Royal NP, they have become naturalised in many areas away from original core range in the SE. [I]
LITTLE CORELLA (Cacatua sanguinea) – Two at Brady's Lagoon were only my second local area record, then a couple at Walnut Creek wetland near Canungra and 4 at Royal NP, these latter probably naturalized birds. [E]
SULPHUR-CRESTED COCKATOO (Cacatua galerita) – No big flocks this year but widespread and vocal
Psittacidae (Parrots)

Many birders visit Australia and never see Albert's Lyrebird at all, let alone as well as we did. (Photo by participant Merrill Lester)

RAINBOW LORIKEET (COCONUT) (Trichoglossus haematodus haematodus) – Some quite good looks at this species at Varirata, they do look rather different to Rainbow Lorikeet in Australia.
RAINBOW LORIKEET (RAINBOW) (Trichoglossus haematodus moluccanus) – Quite common in Australia and very noisy.
SCALY-BREASTED LORIKEET (Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus) – Some nice looks at this green lorikeet with the red underwing at Mareeba. [E]
GOLDIE'S LORIKEET (Psitteuteles goldiei) – A few around Kumul Lodge, some folks saw them quite well early one morning. [E]
BLACK-CAPPED LORY (Lorius lory) – Nice looks at this striking bird at Varirata. [E]
RED-FLANKED LORIKEET (Charmosyna placentis) – Also seen at Varirata in the flowering gums there. [E]
PAPUAN LORIKEET (Charmosyna papou) – Seen at Kumul Lodge, one of the most spectacular of all parrots with its long yellow tail, and the melanistic morph is an incredible bird which we only saw in flight this time. [E]
PLUM-FACED LORIKEET (Oreopsittacus arfaki) – Heard at Kumul only. [E*]
YELLOW-BILLED LORIKEET (Neopsittacus musschenbroekii) – A brief flyby below Kumul Lodge. [E]
DOUBLE-EYED FIG-PARROT (Cyclopsitta diophthalma) – A fantastic look at a female at Half Moon Bay pond, a tiny green parrot with a pointed tail and blue on the face.
CRIMSON ROSELLA (Platycercus elegans) – Common at O'Reillys and with the habit of actually landing on you. [E]
PALE-HEADED ROSELLA (Platycercus adscitus) – Some good looks at Mareeba stockyards. [E]
BREHM'S TIGER-PARROT (Psittacella brehmii) – Seen as ever on the feeders at Kumul, a bulky phlegmatic green parrot with tiger barring and a silvery bill. [E]
RED-CHEEKED PARROT (Geoffroyus geoffroyi) – Nice looks at Varirata where they were very vocal as always. [E]
ECLECTUS PARROT (Eclectus roratus) – One flying high over at Varirata was a useful trip bird, it was a male as is usual.
AUSTRALIAN KING-PARROT (Alisterus scapularis) – Common at O'Reillys and another one that can suddenly alight upon you! [E]
PAPUAN KING-PARROT (Alisterus chloropterus) – Calling at Varirata and with a very quick flyby in response to the tape. [E]
RED-WINGED PARROT (Aprosmictus erythropterus) – Nice looks near Mareeba and at Mount Molloy, a vivid apple green parrot with a long tail, the male with a bright red wing patch. [E]
Pittidae (Pittas)
NOISY PITTA (Pitta versicolor) – Heard at Cassowary House but it was very dry and there was not much activity. Happily one was vocal at Lamington and I was able to lure it close by several times so I think everyone got it eventually, including the VENT group.
Menuridae (Lyrebirds)
ALBERT'S LYREBIRD (Menura alberti) – Boy this was good this year, after a long run of glimpses or just hearing them. A female with a fully grown juv was feeding quite near the Lodge, we saw her initially when she just stepped out into the car park, then later had her and the juv on two occasions with great looks both times. Very pleasing, this is a rare, restricted range and often quite difficult bird to get. [E]
SUPERB LYREBIRD (Menura novaehollandiae) – We really lucked into these this year, with a male and female walking across the track at Royal with splendid views, quite far down the roadway. I had been getting a tad antsy, but Al had spotted one female across the river just before so the pressure was off before this pair appeared. It's the world's largest passerine too, and nice to hear their powerful mimetic song. [E]
Ptilonorhynchidae (Bowerbirds)
SPOTTED CATBIRD (Ailuroedus melanotis) – Seen and heard by Cassowary House, it has a great yowling voice! [E]
GREEN CATBIRD (Ailuroedus crassirostris) – Elusive at Lamington, heard but not seen particularly well by most, they seem shyer than their northern congener. [E]
TOOTH-BILLED CATBIRD (Scenopoeetes dentirostris) – A lovely look at one singing right above his leaf stage at Lake Barrine, he sat very well for us after the first bird we tried got spooked and departed. [E]
ARCHBOLD'S BOWERBIRD (Archboldia papuensis) – This rare species of the high altitude frost pockets again showed very well on the feeder at Kumul, where a female came in daily. [E]

Noisy Pitta proved cooperative at O'Reilly's. (Photo by participant Tony Brake)

GOLDEN BOWERBIRD (Amblyornis newtoniana) – A lovely male by his large lichen draped double maypole bower at the Crater. This species is potentially at great risk if climate change gets really bad as it is already at its altitudinal habitat ceiling. [E]
REGENT BOWERBIRD (Sericulus chrysocephalus) – One of the most spectacular of the family, the O'Reillys corporate logo bird was very showy there, but we very rarely see the bower. [E]
SATIN BOWERBIRD (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus) – A female at the Crater, then some fabulous blue decorated bowers at O'Reillys with a male coming in to one with sundry females looking on. Their violet eyes are amazing. [E]
GREAT BOWERBIRD (Chlamydera nuchalis) – Seen well at Mount Molloy and a fine bower was decorated with many white snail shells and a plastic hand grenade in the schoolyard there, which has actually has a "Birdwatchers Welcome" sign on the gate. [E]
YELLOW-BREASTED BOWERBIRD (Chlamydera lauterbachi) – An uncommon mid-altitude species which we saw quite well near the Sepik Headwaters. [E]
FAWN-BREASTED BOWERBIRD (Chlamydera cerviniventris) – Very nice at the PAU, scolding noisily, and a fine bower now in evidence not far from where the old one was sited. [E]
Climacteridae (Australasian Treecreepers)
WHITE-THROATED TREECREEPER (Cormobates leucophaea) – Seen well at the Curtain Fig (race minor) then in the dry country near Lamington. [E]
BROWN TREECREEPER (Climacteris picumnus) – Two along Henry Hannam Drive called well and gave nice looks, this is the dark northern race melanotus. [E]
Maluridae (Fairywrens)
VARIEGATED FAIRYWREN (Malurus lamberti) – We eventually got them nicely in the dry country below Lamington in the lantana thickets there, a nice male as well as some female type birds. [E]
LOVELY FAIRYWREN (Malurus amabilis) – Glimpsed along the mangrove track at Centenary Lake, I think only Al got a decent look as it was very furtive. [E]
SUPERB FAIRYWREN (Malurus cyaneus) – Seen nicely at Walnut Creek Road and some saw them at O'Reillys. [E]
RED-BACKED FAIRYWREN (Malurus melanocephalus) – Nice looks in long grass along Henry Hannam Drive, with a fine colourful male showing. [E]
WHITE-SHOULDERED FAIRYWREN (Malurus alboscapulatus) – Seen quite nicely at the Blue BoP site below Kumul. [E]
Meliphagidae (Honeyeaters)
EASTERN SPINEBILL (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) – Nice looks at Lake Barrine and O'Reillys. [E]
PLAIN HONEYEATER (Pycnopygius ixoides) – A couple of this amazingly nondescript bird were at Varirata in the trees by the picnic site. It's uncommon and easily missed.
MARBLED HONEYEATER (Pycnopygius cinereus) – Seen a couple of times below Kumul as we looked for the Lesser BoP. [E]
STREAK-HEADED HONEYEATER (Pycnopygius stictocephalus) – One was seen along the approach road at Varirata, like a small-billed friarbird, with a pale malar stripe. [E]
MOUNTAIN MELIPHAGA (Meliphaga orientalis) – Seen below Kumul Lodge, it is the high altitude Meliphaga. [E]
GRACEFUL HONEYEATER (Meliphaga gracilis) – Nice looks at Cassowary House, best told by the "plik" call and paler underparts than Yellow-spotted. [E]
GRACEFUL HONEYEATER (ELEGANT) (Meliphaga gracilis cinereifrons) – This is actually a long time split from Graceful Honeyeater with quite different call and ear spot pattern; it's the common Meliphaga at Varirata.
YELLOW-SPOTTED HONEYEATER (Meliphaga notata) – Seen well at Cassowary House with very distinctive loud calls. [E]
LEWIN'S HONEYEATER (Meliphaga lewinii) – Quite common at the higher altitudes on the Tablelands and at Lamington, it's large, has a whitish bill streak and a very distinct bubbling call series. [E]
BLACK-THROATED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus subfrenatus) – Seen below Kumul, they have a lovely sweet musical song. [E]
BRIDLED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus frenatus) – This large high altitude FNQ endemic was seen at the Crater. [E]
YELLOW-FACED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus chrysops) – Fairly common in th drier woodlands, first at Hastie's Swamp then later at Daisy Hill and Lamington. [E]
VARIED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus versicolor) – This is the big noisy one with the dark streaked yellow underparts at Cairns Esplanade, very much a coastal species. [E]
MANGROVE HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus fasciogularis) – Similar to Varied but with a greyish chest band and less Varied song, we have a good site for it at Lota mangroves. [E]
YELLOW HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus flavus) – Another FNQ endemic, aptly named and seen nicely at Cairns and near Mareeba. [E]
YELLOW-TINTED HONEYEATER (Lichenostomus flavescens) – This one was seen at the Waigani Houses of Parliament, it has an outlying isolate population here in PNG that does not call at all like the Australian birds. [E]

Check out the purple eye of this male Satin Bowerbird tending his bower. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

NOISY MINER (Manorina melanocephala) – Common around Brisbane and Sydney where it can be a nuisance when it gets too common, displacing other less aggressive species. There was a nest at Sandy Camp Wetlands. [E]
RED WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera carunculata) – They were nesting in the big gum at the Abcot Motor Inn and have a great dry retching call that starts at dawn. We also saw them in the suburbs nearby. [E]
LITTLE WATTLEBIRD (Anthochaera chrysoptera) – Seen nicely by the river at Audley, feeding from white blossoms. [E]
BROWN-BACKED HONEYEATER (Ramsayornis modestus) – Good views at Half Moon Bay Pond near Cairns, the pinkish bill is quite distinct and they are often slightly barred on the chest. [E]
RUFOUS-BANDED HONEYEATER (Conopophila albogularis) – Common and vocal at the PAU where they often flight out and dip into the ponds. [E]
DUSKY MYZOMELA (Myzomela obscura) – Nice looks at Cassowary House and at Varirata.
MOUNTAIN MYZOMELA (Myzomela adolphinae) – This tiny arboreal bird led us a dance but we eventually managed to see a male at Varirata. [E]
SCARLET MYZOMELA (Myzomela sanguinolenta) – Another striking honeyeater, seen at Lake Barrine then later in the gums at Lamington, a much better look. [E]
RED-COLLARED MYZOMELA (Myzomela rosenbergii) – A stonking bright red and black male came to the feeder at Kumul several times. [E]
BROWN HONEYEATER (Lichmera indistincta) – The default coastal east coast honeyeater, pretty nondescript but with a pale patch by the eye.
NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) – This proved elusive up on the heath at Royal in the baking sun, they would fly by but not land for long! [E]
WHITE-CHEEKED HONEYEATER (Phylidonyris niger) – My flowering garden site near Hastie's Swamp produced this striking bird with the big yellow wing patches and white face patch. [E]
WHITE-NAPED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus lunatus) – A few in the drier woodland at Lamington, they have a red eye wattle and a duller green mantle than the similar White-throated. [E]
WHITE-THROATED HONEYEATER (Melithreptus albogularis) – This attractive bird was seen on the Tablelands and at Varirata. [E]
BLUE-FACED HONEYEATER (Entomyzon cyanotis) – A big striking species that we saw nicely at Mareeba and later near Brisbane. [E]
LITTLE FRIARBIRD (Philemon citreogularis) – This was amazingly scarce this trip, I think some folks saw one at Daisy Hill and that was it. [E]
HELMETED FRIARBIRD (NEW GUINEA) (Philemon buceroides novaeguineae) – Seen well at the PAU, I even got a photo, Clements used to split it then unwisely went and reneged, the whole complex badly needs breaking up. [E]
HELMETED FRIARBIRD (HORNBILL) (Philemon buceroides yorki) – This is the one with the whitish crown that you see at Cassowary House, split by the IOC as Hornbill Friarbird as they start to unpick an overlumped group. [E]
NOISY FRIARBIRD (Philemon corniculatus) – Nice looks at this black-headed and vocal species near Mareeba. [E]
MACLEAY'S HONEYEATER (Xanthotis macleayanus) – This is another FNQ endemic that comes to the feeders at Cassowary House and is also at Chambers [E]
STRIPED HONEYEATER (Plectorhyncha lanceolata) – One at Sandy Creek Wetlands was eventually able to lured in for good views, they are local and uncommon, a good bird to get.
SMOKY HONEYEATER (Melipotes fumigatus) – The blushing honeyeater, it goes from yellow facial skin to bright red quite quickly with all sorts of halfway combinations, a great favourite from the Kumul feeders. [E]
BELFORD'S MELIDECTES (Melidectes belfordi) – The big ugly noisy dark-billed blue facial skinned Melidectes that comes and squabbles at the feeders at Kumul. [E]
YELLOW-BROWED MELIDECTES (Melidectes rufocrissalis) – This was a surprise as I don't recall seeing it here before, but we found this pale-billed greenish-yellow facial skinned Melidectes at the Blue BoP site. [E]
ORNATE MELIDECTES (Melidectes torquatus) – This one with the big yellow eye patch and black breast band was seen below Kumul. [E]
BLACK-BACKED HONEYEATER (Ptiloprora perstriata) – Seen well at the Kumul feeders, more usually called Grey-streaked Honeyeater. [E]
Pardalotidae (Pardalotes)

Fairywrens, like this male Superb Fairywren, are as charismatic as they are cute. (Photo by participant Tony Brake)

SPOTTED PARDALOTE (Pardalotus punctatus) – This is one gorgeous little bird when seen well, and thankfully they are quite responsive and usually come close, as they did in the gums below O'Reillys. They have a lovely chiming bell-like call as well. [E]
Acanthizidae (Thornbills and Allies)
GOLDENFACE (Pachycare flavogriseum) – We heard this by the picnic site and it responded with some unusual song variants, but always stayed out of view, an extremely odd little bird that used to be called Dwarf Whistler but is now placed in Acanthizidae, which is almost as bizarre. [E*]
ROCKWARBLER (Origma solitaria) – A lucky find along Lady Carrington Drive, it was not at its usual rockface but I heard it quite near the start as we walked back, and it came in for very good looks. Endemic to NSW, the only species endemic to that state and mostly on the Hawkesbury sandstone formations. [E]
RUSTY MOUSE-WARBLER (Crateroscelis murina) – Heard at Varirata, very skulking as ever. [E*]
MOUNTAIN MOUSE-WARBLER (Crateroscelis robusta) – Most folks got brief looks at Kumul Lodge where they are quite common but secretive in the moss forests. [E]
YELLOW-THROATED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis citreogularis) – Common at Lamington and very tame. [E]
WHITE-BROWED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis frontalis) – Also common at Lamington and very tame. [E]
ATHERTON SCRUBWREN (Sericornis keri) – A couple of ths restricted range high-altitude FNQ endemic came foraging past as we waited near the Golden Bowerbird bower, another of the guild of species that is very vulnerable to climate change events. Its closest relative is apparently the Scrubtit in Tasmania, not the very similar looking Large-billed Scrubwren! [E]
LARGE SCRUBWREN (Sericornis nouhuysi) – We saw two of this species at Kumul, the reddish throat is distinctive. [E]
LARGE-BILLED SCRUBWREN (Sericornis magnirostra) – Seen nicely at Chambers and Cassowary House. [E]
PAPUAN SCRUBWREN (Sericornis papuensis) – A nice look at one at Kumul. [E]
MOUNTAIN THORNBILL (Acanthiza katherina) – Nice looks at 2 at the Crater, another FNQ high-altitude endemic under threat from climate change events. [E]
BROWN THORNBILL (Acanthiza pusilla) – Seen well at Lamington. [E]
STRIATED THORNBILL (Acanthiza lineata) – Good looks at Lamington and Royal NP. [E]
WEEBILL (Smicrornis brevirostris) – Heard at Emerald Creek. [E*]
GREEN-BACKED GERYGONE (Gerygone chloronota) – Heard several times at Varirata but we did not spend much time after it. [E*]
FAIRY GERYGONE (Gerygone palpebrosa) – Three day records, seen at Cassowary House and then at Varirata. [E]
WHITE-THROATED GERYGONE (Gerygone olivacea) – Nice looks at this beautiful little Gerygone at Henry Hannam Drive, and very responsive too. [E]
YELLOW-BELLIED GERYGONE (Gerygone chrysogaster) – Some good looks at Varirata, a core member of species flocks there. [E]
LARGE-BILLED GERYGONE (Gerygone magnirostris) – One was seen well at Cairns Centenary Park. [E]
BROWN GERYGONE (Gerygone mouki) – Quite common on the Tablelands and at Lamington. [E]
BROWN-BREASTED GERYGONE (Gerygone ruficollis) – Nice looks at Kumul, the smoky descending song is a typical sound of the highlands. [E]
MANGROVE GERYGONE (Gerygone levigaster) – Good looks at Lota mangroves, my usual site for it. [E]
Pomatostomidae (Pseudo-Babblers)
GRAY-CROWNED BABBLER (Pomatostomus temporalis) – Seen at Mareeba golf course where there was a nest low in a big tree. [E]
Orthonychidae (Logrunners)

The foraging behavior of this Australian Logrunner on the forest floor was very entertaining. (Photo by participant Merrill Lester)

AUSTRALIAN LOGRUNNER (Orthonyx temminckii) – Great looks at Lamington, they way they kick out sideways when foraging never ceases to amaze me. [E]
CHOWCHILLA (Orthonyx spaldingii) – This FNQ endemic showed well along the concrete driveway at Cassowary House, they are usually vocal early mornings and can be elusive. [E]
Cnemophilidae (Satinbirds)
LORIA'S SATINBIRD (Cnemophilus loriae) – We saw 2 female-plumaged birds in the forest below Kumul, much greener below than Crested Satinbird females, and heard it along the new Pigites Trail. [E]
CRESTED SATINBIRD (Cnemophilus macgregorii) – Max knew of a fruiting tree, so we stationed ourselves nearby and sure enough a fantastic glowing orange- rather like one of Irving's t-shirts in fact- and black male came in to feed and showed well, with a female later. Formerly classified as a BoP but now promoted to its own endemic family. [E]
Melanocharitidae (Berrypeckers and Longbills)
BLACK BERRYPECKER (Melanocharis nigra) – Another endemic family, a fine male was at the picnic site at Varirata. [E]
FAN-TAILED BERRYPECKER (Melanocharis versteri) – A male showed sporadically around the lodge at Kumul, quite a striking bird with that bluish iridescence on crown and wings. [E]
Paramythiidae (Tit Berrypecker, Crested Berrypecker)
CRESTED BERRYPECKER (Paramythia montium) – Great looks at Kumul Lodge and seen by the feeder quite early on, a really striking and beautiful bird of another endemic family too. [E]
Psophodidae (Whipbirds and Wedgebills)
EASTERN WHIPBIRD (Psophodes olivaceus) – Very tame at Lamington, we had some amazing views of what can be a hard species to see away from here. [E]
Cinclosomatidae (Quail-thrushes and Jewel-babblers)
PAINTED QUAIL-THRUSH (Cinclosoma ajax) – Heard at Varirata, and some of us got views of two that crossed a trail, one actually walking through Phil's bins view at one point! One of the Varirata mega-skulkers, good to get to see it. [E]
CHESTNUT-BACKED JEWEL-BABBLER (Ptilorrhoa castanonota) – Another Varirata mega-skulker, heard only this trip. [E*]
Machaerirhynchidae (Boatbills)
YELLOW-BREASTED BOATBILL (Machaerirhynchus flaviventer) – Great looks at Cassowary House and then on the Tablelands, a very distinctive species. [E]
Artamidae (Woodswallows)
GREAT WOODSWALLOW (Artamus maximus) – A couple ove the new Pigites Trail the largest of the family. [E]
WHITE-BREASTED WOODSWALLOW (Artamus leucorynchus) – Common in the Cairns area and at Port Moresby.
Cracticidae (Bellmagpies and Allies)
BLACK-BACKED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus mentalis) – Good views at the PAU, a Cape York special in Australia. [E]
GRAY BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus torquatus) – Just one at Daisy Hill was all we saw. [E]
HOODED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus cassicus) – One along the approach to Varirata, they have a lovely fluting song and are very vocal. [E]
PIED BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus nigrogularis) – A couple near Mareeba and odd birds around Brisbane. [E]
BLACK BUTCHERBIRD (Cracticus quoyi) – An adult comes to eat cheese at Cassowary House daily, so great views.
AUSTRALASIAN MAGPIE (Gymnorhina tibicen) – A few around in the Mareeba and Brisbane areas, a large dumpy bird that is not a corvid of course, they have a very nice song for one. [E]
PIED CURRAWONG (Strepera graculina) – Seen at the Crater then around Lamington, another non-corvid. [E]
Campephagidae (Cuckooshrikes)

Koalas are certainly in the running for most iconic wildlife of Australia. (Photo by participant Merrill Lester)

BARRED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina lineata) – A great look at one along Black Mountain Road, the yellow eye and barred underparts are very striking. [E]
BOYER'S CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina boyeri) – Good looks at the Varirata picnic site. [E]
BLACK-FACED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina novaehollandiae) – Small numbers around on the Tablelands, quite a large bird.
WHITE-BELLIED CUCKOOSHRIKE (Coracina papuensis) – More than usual with some 7 day records around the Tablelands and at Varirata.
WHITE-WINGED TRILLER (Lalage tricolor) – One at Sandy Camp Wetland was unexpected, they are a dry country species but do wander at this time of the year.
VARIED TRILLER (Lalage leucomela) – Seen on 3 days with a good view at Varirata and near Cassowary House.
BLACK-BELLIED CICADABIRD (Edolisoma montanum) – 3 noisy birds were called in along the new Pigites Trail at Kumul, a high-altitude endemic of NG. [E]
COMMON CICADABIRD (Edolisoma tenuirostre) – A nice look at a male with the whistled rainforest song-type at Cairns, then another on the Lamington Plateau, this one with the usual Cicada-like buzzy call. There may well be 2 cryptic species involved here.
BLACK CICADABIRD (Edolisoma melan) – A male was by the Varirata picnic site. [E]
Neosittidae (Sittellas)
VARIED SITTELLA (Daphoenositta chrysoptera) – A lovely twittering flock of this odd little nuthatch-like creature at Emerald Creek Falls, uncommon and easily missed. [E]
Pachycephalidae (Whistlers and Allies)
WATTLED PLOUGHBILL (Eulacestoma nigropectus) – Heard along the new Pigites Trail and likely to be a new family ere long. [E*]
CRESTED SHRIKE-TIT (EASTERN) (Falcunculus frontatus frontatus) – A very good look at this one in the rainforest along the Wishing Tree Trail for most, then another calling at the start of the main Trail which enabled those who missed the first to catch up, I just heard a fragment of the call from the Lodge entrance and came to check it out! [E]
RUFOUS SHRIKE-THRUSH (Colluricincla megarhyncha) – Seen at Cassowary House and the Tablelands, expect a lot of splits in this species quite soon, this one really will be the Rufous Shrike-thrush with Little in the Top End.
GRAY SHRIKE-THRUSH (Colluricincla harmonica) – Seen at Granite Gorge and Lamington. [E]
BOWER'S SHRIKE-THRUSH (Colluricincla boweri) – We saw this dark-billed rather grey above and rusty below species at Chambers and then the Curtain Fig, it's a mid-altitude FNQ endemic. [E]
REGENT WHISTLER (Pachycephala schlegelii) – A juv. showed at Kumul Lodge, blotchy and rather orange on the wings. [E]
GOLDEN WHISTLER (Pachycephala pectoralis) – Lovely looks at Chambers and then at Lamington, females are nondescript but the male is very attractive.
BROWN-BACKED WHISTLER (Pachycephala modesta) – Two along the road below Kumul, a PNG endemic. A small billed rather delicate species. [E]
GRAY WHISTLER (GRAY-HEADED) (Pachycephala simplex griseiceps) – Heard at Varirata. [E*]
GRAY WHISTLER (GRAY-HEADED) (Pachycephala simplex peninsulae) – A nice view of one along Black Mountain Road, a elusive rather flycatcher-like species. [E]
WHITE-BELLIED WHISTLER (Pachycephala leucogastra) – Two very fine males singing and carrying on along the Varirata approach road, I sent tape of them to xenocanto. Endemic to SE PNG and formerly classified with Rufous Whistler of all things, heaven knows why! [E]
BLACK-HEADED WHISTLER (Pachycephala monacha) – A male was in the casuarinas below Kumul, singing well. [E]
RUFOUS WHISTLER (Pachycephala rufiventris) – Four day records in the drier country, with males showing nicely several times and the streaked female once. [E]
RUFOUS-NAPED WHISTLER (Aleadryas rufinucha) – This very strange bird is actually no longer classified with whistlers, it belongs with Crested Bellbird and may become part of a new family grouping. We saw them very well at Kumul, they spend a lot of time on the ground. [E]
CRESTED PITOHUI (Ornorectes cristatus) – Heard at Varirata, their pulsing song can continue for 20 minutes but they are the very devil to see. [E*]
Laniidae (Shrikes)

A male Ribbon-tailed Astrapia is likely to win most beauty contests. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

LONG-TAILED SHRIKE (Lanius schach stresemanni) – Great looks at two below Kumul, this dark-headed race is very isolated and could do with genetic evaluation.
Oriolidae (Old World Orioles)
HOODED PITOHUI (Pitohui dichrous) – Three of this famous poison bird were seen by the picnic site at Varirata, now classified with Old World Orioles too which was a surprise. [E]
BROWN ORIOLE (Oriolus szalayi) – A nondescript New Guinea endemic and always one of the first we see, this time at the PAU and Varirata. It's quite a close mimic of NG Friarbird too. [E]
OLIVE-BACKED ORIOLE (Oriolus sagittatus) – Good views at Sandy Camp Wetland. [E]
GREEN ORIOLE (Oriolus flavocinctus) – A very co-operative bird at Centenary Park on the first morning, for once the Clements name is an improvement over our own Yellow Oriole, preoccupied by a South American species and it's not yellow anyway! [E]
AUSTRALASIAN FIGBIRD (Sphecotheres vieilloti) – Common around Cairns and Kuranda, and nice looks at the odd grey-chested males of race salvadorii at the PAU. [E]
Dicruridae (Drongos)
SPANGLED DRONGO (Dicrurus bracteatus) – There was a big movement of them back from PNG around the Tablelands, with odd birds at various sites. The PNG ones were seen at Varirata and are probably a different species, vocally quite distinct and resident.
Rhipiduridae (Fantails)
WILLIE-WAGTAIL (Rhipidura leucophrys) – Seen on most days of the trip, even near Kumul Lodge at Max's garden at 2400m. Great pugnacious feisty attitude! [E]
FRIENDLY FANTAIL (Rhipidura albolimbata) – Nice looks at Kumul. [E]
CHESTNUT-BELLIED FANTAIL (Rhipidura hyperythra) – One along the Varirata lookout Trail an attractive species. [E]
BLACK FANTAIL (Rhipidura atra) – A rusty female was by the Blue BoP site. [E]
GRAY FANTAIL (Rhipidura albiscapa) – One at Chambers and a few at Lamington and Royal NP. [E]
DIMORPHIC FANTAIL (Rhipidura brachyrhyncha) – A fine female at Kumul with a nice dimorphic tail pattern. [E]
RUFOUS FANTAIL (Rhipidura rufifrons) – They showed very nicely at Lamington, not long back from their winter quarters further north.
Monarchidae (Monarch Flycatchers)
BLUE-CAPPED IFRITA (Ifrita kowaldi) – They were calling each day from one spot right by the lodge at Kumul, and we got them one afternoon when a single bird flew in to peek at us. They act like nuthatches, are another poison bird, and are about to become a new endemic family along with Pygmy Drongo! [E]

Smear some honey on a trunk and you've got a reliable way to see the nocturnal Sugar Glider. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

BLACK-FACED MONARCH (Monarcha melanopsis) – Not long back from New Guinea, we had a very nice one at the Chambers, then several at Lamington. [E]
SPECTACLED MONARCH (Symposiachrus trivirgatus) – This attractive species showed well at Cassowary House. [E]
SPOT-WINGED MONARCH (Symposiachrus guttula) – One along the Varirata Lookout Track was a useful find. [E]
FRILLED MONARCH (Arses telescophthalmus) – They came in very well along the Varirata lookout trail with two males and a female, the males with the frill erect. [E]
PIED MONARCH (Arses kaupi) – Heard along Black Mt Road, then a nest at Curtain Fig where we got excellent looks. Endemic to FNQ. [E]
MAGPIE-LARK (Grallina cyanoleuca) – Seen most days in Australia, it's a very typical bird of the more open country, and odd to think it's a monarch. [E]
LEADEN FLYCATCHER (Myiagra rubecula) – Several at Centenary Park, then again at Royal NP. [E]
SATIN FLYCATCHER (Myiagra cyanoleuca) – A male at Cassowary House was a nice find, this is the passage month and we get them most years but only in very small numbers. Then a fine male with a nest sited on a limb quite high in a gum was at Royal NP. [E]
Corvidae (Crows, Jays, and Magpies)
GRAY CROW (Corvus tristis) – Heard at Varirata but stayed away. [E*]
TORRESIAN CROW (Corvus orru) – Small numbers around the Tablelands and Brisbane, and quite common at the PAU and by the piggery nearby. Also one foraging by the picnic site at Varirata. [E]
AUSTRALIAN RAVEN (Corvus coronoides) – Nice looks at Royal NP, the bawling baby call is very distinctive. [E]
Paradisaeidae (Birds-of-paradise)
CRINKLE-COLLARED MANUCODE (Manucodia chalybatus) – One along the Varirata Lookout Trail, calling "chig" (with the tape sent to xenocanto), and some saw one by the Blue Bop site. [E]
KING-OF-SAXONY BIRD-OF-PARADISE (Pteridophora alberti) – Max got us a male sat high on the ridge below Kumul, then a much closer one was along the new trail at Pigites, a really exotic bird with those singular head wires. [E]
SUPERB BIRD-OF-PARADISE (Lophorina superba) – Heard at the Blue BoP site, and a female showed near the Lesser BoP site later. [E]
PARADISE RIFLEBIRD (Ptiloris paradiseus) – Man these were hard this year, barely calling, I was thankful we got a female-plumaged bird along the Moran's Falls track as my usual track was shut for some reason. it's the most southerly of the BoP family. [E]
VICTORIA'S RIFLEBIRD (Ptiloris victoriae) – Good sightings at Cassowary House and Chambers, mostly female-plumaged but at least one fine male. [E]
MAGNIFICENT RIFLEBIRD (GROWLING) (Ptiloris magnificus intercedens) – This was heard at Varirata but stayed unseen, a split from Magnificent Riflebird with quite distinct growling vocals. [E*]
BROWN SICKLEBILL (Epimachus meyeri) – Wonderful at Kumul, with a fantastic male on the feeders and sundry female-plumaged birds tossing fruit chunks up into the air as they ate. [E]
STEPHANIE'S ASTRAPIA (Astrapia stephaniae) – A brief look at a female-plumage bird as we climbed up at the new Pigites Trail for some. [E]
RIBBON-TAILED ASTRAPIA (Astrapia mayeri) – One of my own favourites and surely one of the most spectacular birds in the world. The feeders at Kumul had an exemplary male with a tail over a metre long, grown out from the stumpy version we saw back in July, and there was a wide assortment of females and young males attending too. They rustle when they fly, and seeing a male sat up in the forest with the plumes rippling is fantastic. [E]
BLUE BIRD-OF-PARADISE (Paradisaea rudolphi) – The male at Tonga came good despite some guys missing it the day before, they have been building a road by hand right by his site so it was quite disturbed, but luckily Sunday was a day of rest and we got great looks at him, a PNG endemic and very vulnerable to disturbance and clearance. [E]
LESSER BIRD-OF-PARADISE (Paradisaea minor) – A fine plumed male was spotted by some of the local lads in the gathered crowd by the road below Kumul, and we got nice scope views. [E]
RAGGIANA BIRD-OF-PARADISE (Paradisaea raggiana) – Two males and few female -plumaged birds at Varirata were the first of our Bops for the tour, and are always a major crowd-pleaser. [E]
LESSER MELAMPITTA (Melampitta lugubris) – One came in several times below the feeders at Kumul, a dumpy black sprite keeping in the shadows and always hard to get. Note that it's not a BoP, again it's likely to be a new endemic family. [E]
Petroicidae (Australasian Robins)
LESSER GROUND-ROBIN (Amalocichla incerta) – One was singing by the new Pigites Trail and we managed to get fleeting looks at it as it came silently in to check out my playback. This is the first I have actually seen at Kumul. [E]
TORRENT FLYCATCHER (Monachella muelleriana) – Nice looks at the Sepik Headwaters as usual, a very classy bird. [E]
LEMON-BELLIED FLYCATCHER (Microeca flavigaster) – One at the quaintly named Abattoir Swamp, and heard along the Varirata approach road. [E]
GARNET ROBIN (Eugerygone rubra) – A singing male along the new trail at Pigites gave good views as it flitted high in the tall trees, that garnet shade above really is unique. [E]

Birds-of-paradise aren't the only stunning endemics on Papua New Guinea. This Crested Berrypecker is beautiful in its own right. (Photo by participant Tony Brake)

ROSE ROBIN (Petroica rosea) – For the first time ever, we did not see it on the tour and only heard it very briefly once, the dry conditions are not conducive to breeding yet I suppose. [E*]
PALE-YELLOW ROBIN (Tregellasia capito) – Nice looks at Cassowary House. [E]
EASTERN YELLOW ROBIN (Eopsaltria australis) – Seen at Emerald Creek, then very nicely for all at Lamington, that yellow rump is a real eye-catcher. [E]
MANGROVE ROBIN (Eopsaltria pulverulenta) – Very obliging this trip, feeding out on the grass by the mangroves at the northern end of the Esplanade. [E]
WHITE-WINGED ROBIN (Peneothello sigillata) – Great looks at Kumul, they come by the feeders regularly. I never did get a flight shot! [E]
BLUE-GRAY ROBIN (Peneothello cyanus) – Heard near Kumul but they are very skulking and inaccessible here. [E*]
GRAY-HEADED ROBIN (Heteromyias cinereifrons) – Nice looks at Chambers and the Crater, a higher altitude endemic species of FNQ [E]
Hirundinidae (Swallows)
WELCOME SWALLOW (Hirundo neoxena) – Quite common in eastern Australia. [E]
PACIFIC SWALLOW (Hirundo tahitica) – The common lowland swallow in PNG, much shorter tailed than the adult Welcome but otherwise very similar, I wonder actually if this race is correctly classified with Pacific Swallow?
FAIRY MARTIN (Petrochelidon ariel) – One at Cairns and a few at Walnut Creek wetland. [E]
TREE MARTIN (Petrochelidon nigricans) – Just 4 seen at Walnut Creek wetland, duller than Fairy Martin with no red head. [E]
Phylloscopidae (Leaf-Warblers)
ISLAND LEAF-WARBLER (Phylloscopus poliocephalus) – A good look at this obscure Phyllosc with the crown stripe below Kumul.
Acrocephalidae (Reed-Warblers and Allies)
AUSTRALIAN REED-WARBLER (Acrocephalus australis) – Good looks at Sandy Camp Wetland where they were singing well. [E]
Locustellidae (Grassbirds and Allies)
TAWNY GRASSBIRD (Megalurus timoriensis) – An obliging bird at Sandy Camp Wetland was a useful trip addition, the long ragged tail is very distinctive. [E]
TAWNY GRASSBIRD (PAPUAN) (Megalurus timoriensis macrurus) – Heard up at Kumul, but skulked out of sight, this is actually Papuan Grassbird M. macrurus, much larger, with different call and high altitude habitat. [E*]
Zosteropidae (Yuhinas, White-eyes, and Allies)
BLACK-FRONTED WHITE-EYE (Zosterops minor) – Good looks at Varirata where they were vocal and showed nicely by the picnic site. [E]
NEW GUINEA WHITE-EYE (Zosterops novaeguineae) – Some small flocks of this white-bellied species were by the Blue BoP site, a good trip addition. [E]
SILVER-EYE (Zosterops lateralis) – Good looks at Cassowary House and Chambers, the grey mantle is quite distinctive.
Muscicapidae (Old World Flycatchers)
PIED BUSHCHAT (Saxicola caprata) – A few good sightings below Kumul with males and females.
Turdidae (Thrushes and Allies)
OLIVE-TAILED THRUSH (Zoothera lunulata) – We call this Bassian Thrush, and Al found us one quite unexpectedly feeding in leaf litter by the river along Lady Carrington Drive, the first time I've seen it here. [E]
RUSSET-TAILED THRUSH (Zoothera heinei) – A good look at one at Lamington after we heard it singing late in the afternoon the previous day, they are not easy to tell from Bassian but do have a rusty cast to the tail in good light, and of course a different song. [E]
ISLAND THRUSH (Turdus poliocephalus) – Good confiding birds at Kumul, and a cheeping nestling complete with downy quills down at Max's orchid garden.
Sturnidae (Starlings)
METALLIC STARLING (Aplonis metallica) – A lively colony at Cairns, they gave some great views and are very photogenic in good light.
SINGING STARLING (Aplonis cantoroides) – A few around Port Moresby and Mt Hagen. [E]
YELLOW-FACED MYNA (Mino dumontii) – This odd species with the croaking voice was seen well at the PAU and Varirata. [E]
COMMON MYNA (Acridotheres tristis) – Common in E Australia but not I am happy to say in PNG. [I]
EUROPEAN STARLING (Sturnus vulgaris) – A few around Brisbane and Sydney. [I]
Dicaeidae (Flowerpeckers)
RED-CAPPED FLOWERPECKER (Dicaeum geelvinkianum) – A couple seen up at Varirata. [E]
MISTLETOEBIRD (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) – A fine vocal male along Black Mountain Road, our only flowerpecker. [E]
Nectariniidae (Sunbirds and Spiderhunters)
OLIVE-BACKED SUNBIRD (Cinnyris jugularis) – Seen nicely around Cassowary House, Cairns and at Lake Barrine.
Motacillidae (Wagtails and Pipits)
AUSTRALASIAN PIPIT (AUSTRALIAN) (Anthus novaeseelandiae australis) – One at Lake Tinaroo was a useful addition to the trip.
Passeridae (Old World Sparrows)
HOUSE SPARROW (Passer domesticus) – A few in the main urban centres and in Port Moresby. [I]
EURASIAN TREE SPARROW (Passer montanus) – A couple at Port Moresby airport, a new immigrant to PNG since 2003. [I]
Estrildidae (Waxbills and Allies)
MOUNTAIN FIRETAIL (Oreostruthus fuliginosus) – Some folks saw this at Kumul. [E]
RED-BROWED FIRETAIL (Neochmia temporalis) – Great looks at Kingfisher Park on the feeders there, then again up at O'Reillys. [E]
CRIMSON FINCH (Neochmia phaeton) – Only heard at Cattana Wetlands, the hot and dry conditions have not helped. [E]
NUTMEG MANNIKIN (Lonchura punctulata) – A couple of sightings around Cairns. [I]
HOODED MUNIA (Lonchura spectabilis) – Some nice looks up below Kumul Lodge. [E]
GRAY-HEADED MUNIA (Lonchura caniceps) – A flock of about 30 were at the PAU, skulking in the long grass by the ponds. It's endemic to SE PNG. [E]

Here we are celebrating Rock Warbler and Superb Lyrebird in Royal National Park south of Sydney. (Photo by guide Phil Gregory)

CHESTNUT-BREASTED MUNIA (Lonchura castaneothorax) – The Crowes saw this at the Birdwatchers Cabin where they were staying, odd that we saw none later. [E]

PLATYPUS (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) – One was showing nicely in the creek at Yungaburra despite busloads of noisy tourists disturbing the proceedings. A truly bizarre creature. [E]
SPECKLED DASYURE (Neophascogale lorentzii) – One was seen on the feeders at Kumul Lodge. [E]
KOALA (Phascolarctos cinereus) – Roger told us of one by the lower car park at Daisy Hill, and Freda spotted it sat quite low down, where it gave great looks. I then found another sat high above the captive females enclosure at the visitor centre. In all my years coming here i have never yet met a staff member who could tell us where to see a wild one in the reserve, where they can be exceedingly hard to locate..... [E]
SHORT-EARED POSSUM (Trichosurus caninus) – One came in to feed on fruit as we ate dinner at O'Reillys. [E]
SUGAR GLIDER (Petaurus breviceps) – Great looks at the ones coming to feed on the honey smeared on the trunks at Chambers. [E]
STRIPED POSSUM (Dactylopsila trivirgata) – Tony and Yvonne were lucky enough to see one come in by the Sugar Gliders late one night. [E]
MUSKY RAT-KANGAROO (Hypsiprymnodon moschatus) – One of the smallest kangaroos, this one was seen well at Cassowary House and Chambers, it is actually the smallest of the macropod family and endemic to FNQ. [E]
RED-NECKED PADEMELON (Thylogale thetis) – The common wallaby at O'Reillys, very tame. [E]
RED-LEGGED PADEMELON (Thylogale stigmatica) – I think Al saw this at Cassowary House? There is often one around. The usual show at Chambers did not happen this year due to a big python being around and scaring them all away. [E]
MAREEBA ROCK-WALLABY (Petrogale mareeba) – The colony at Granite Gorge has been a big hit since we began going to see them on this tour, they are very tame and quite endearing. [E]
AGILE WALLABY (Macropus agilis) – The common small dry country wallaby on the Tablelands, this one has the flank stripe. [E]
RED-NECKED WALLABY (Macropus rufogriseus) – Just a single at Daisy Hill this trip, disturbed by tree-cutting I think as they are usually all over the picnic site here. [E]
WHIPTAIL WALLABY (Macropus parryi) – One was stood by the roadside en route to Lamington. also called Pretty-face Wallaby. [E]
EASTERN GRAY KANGAROO (Macropus giganteus) – A nice mob of them on the golf course at Mareeba. [E]
SPECTACLED FLYING-FOX (Pteropus conspicillatus) – A few seen at dusk in Cairns, unfortunately the council is trying to shift the big colony that lives near the library. [E]
GRAY-HEADED FLYING-FOX (Pteropus poliocephalus) – One in Brisbane as we went to the restaurant, then many flying over at the Abcot Motor Inn in Sydney at dawn. [E]
HUMPBACK WHALE (Megaptera novaeangliae) – There were several animals way off from Garie Beach that were breaching, coming up out of the sea and flashing their white underparts before landing on their backs with huge splashes. I think there were 3 or 4 individuals involved, very nice to see.



Saw-shelled turtles in Cairns
Boyd's Forest Dragon at Kingfisher Park
A terrapin with a pale neck stripe at Royal NP


Birds of the trip were a very diverse assemblage, but as ever Cassowary came out high up the charts, as did Ribbon-tailed Astrapia and Superb Fairywren, whilst that New Guinea Woodcock was one of my own best sightings of the tour.

Totals for the tour: 400 bird taxa and 17 mammal taxa